This morning’s wedding was sent in by photographer Hannah Millard of ‘Camera Hannah‘ – I really love this wedding but the very first thing that struck me about it was Steph’s short hair – how often do we see tutorials on how to style long hair on your wedding day – what about all those ladies with shorter styles? The other thing about this day was the very laid back, fun, family focused nature of it all – it seemed perfect to share this particular wedding with you this morning, after having pondered over the whole ‘fairytale wedding versus real life marriage’ thing yesterday afternoon.
Mat and Steph tied the knot on 10th August last year with a ceremony at Witham United Reformed Church followed by a reception at Wickham Bishops Village Hall in Essex. The couple didn’t have any particular theme or style when planning their day – they did tell me that they had an overwhelming aim to create a very fun day for their family and friends however. They styled their wedding along the lines of a village fete and Steph looked totally comfortable and at ease in her Terry Fox gown – a purchase from Serenity brides in Colchester.
Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Camera Hannah
“Mat and I met through the youth organisation, Air Cadets, that we were both part of at a swimming competition. My swimming costume must have really made an impression on Mat! We got engaged after about 4 and a half years together, when Mat took me down for a walk along a lock near to where we lived. His original plan was to hire a row boat but when we got there, they weren’t hiring them that day so we went for a stroll and he proposed alongside the river. We were engaged for about 14 months before the wedding.”
“My dress is called ‘Jewellery Box’ by Terry Fox. I bought it from Serenity Brides in Colchester. To be honest, I must have tried on 50+ dresses and it was beginning to stress me out a bit. I wanted something slightly different but also didn’t want to spend a lot of money. In the end, I went back to Serenity and after a while my mum wondered around the back and found the sale rail. My dress was actually in a back corridor but the assistant bought a it out with a few others for me to have a look and originally I didn’t like it. Once I put it on, however it ticked nearly every box I had been looking for.
It is a two piece and the detail on the front is made from antique brooches so I can remove them afterwards and wear them again. The skirt is quite unusual and I felt that it made an impact, plus my waist looked tiny! On top of that, as it was in the sale it was a third of its original price so was complete value for money as well. Mat’s Mum and Aunt made the straps for me which gave it more structured look which I loved.”
“We were very lucky and found the bridesmaids dresses in the Monsoon January sales. They were slightly darker green than I would have originally picked but the girls loved them so we lightened them up by adding the ivory ribbon. The bridesmaid’s lace hair pieces were from Accessorize and perfectly matched the dresses. My twin sisters and Mat’s goddaughter were my flowergirls and their dresses were an absolute bargain from Debenhams and really matched the relaxed vibe.
The girls also each wore two bracelets. One was white with a gold feather which they chose from Lisa Angel. The second was their gift from us and was made by a folksy designer, Hibiscusdays Jewellery.”
“Mats step-mum kindly did our flowers for us. The inspiration was to look very relaxed and like they had come from a garden and I think Tina did a fantastic job on them. The flowers on the tables tied all the colours of the day in perfectly”
“My shoes were in the Dorothy Perkins sale! I was shopping with Mat in Norwich at Christmas and spotted these next to the till. They were perfect for me as I am not very good with heels, the right height for the dress and very comfortable!”
“My Mum made my veil for me. She ordered £10 of tulle alongside the hessian and material for the bunting as she wanted to give it a go. She managed to make this stunning simple veil the week before the wedding.
Mum also organised our transport for us after I said I was just going to book a taxi and she did a fantastic job. She hired three cars from Cool Classic Cars, a 1946 Ford Tudor Sedan Deluxe HOT ROD called ‘Follie’ for myself ad my dad, a 1932 Ford Model B sedan HOT ROD called ‘Dipsie Doodle’ for Mat and his best man and a VW campervan called Millie for the bridesmaids. The roar of the cars certainly turned some heads on the way to and from the church!
“All of the decor was homemade by ourselves, our family or friends, except for the fairy lights and the chairs. Mats mum, aunt and sister made approximately 200m of bunting, I made the table names (numbers with maps of mountains or places we’ve been decopauged on), place cards (corks with the guest name printed on and a photo of them on top) and wooden bunting. My mum made the placemats, and we all helped make the hessian runners on the Friday night.
I drew the signs out and Mat and I put together the photo booth. A lot of our family and wedding party came to decorate the hall on the Friday night. It really was a labour of love! ”
“One of the bestmen made our table plan for us using cricket bats for each table. It looked fantastic! We didn’t really provide favours although my mum made personalised placemats for every person and we hoped people would take them home although I now have 60 sitting at home!”
“Our family friends, Paul and Marnie from Serve You Right Catering did the catering and bar for us. They served up an antipasto starter with cured meats, hummus, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese and then followed with stunning paella for main course with fresh salads. They also provided the breads and biscuits to go with the 14kg of cheese cake that my step dad provided for us!
We held a great wedding bake off and asked our guests to bake and bring along cakes. I have to say that the standard of the entries were phenomenal! We had a bouncy castle, cookie monster, ice creams cones, rainbow cake, hedgehog cake, strawberry surprise (it was chocolate) and the winning entry was a replica of a mountain from the Lake District as we love climbing mountains! Mats sister also baked us an addition naked cake and cupcakes to supplement the entries.”
“I had two headpieces. My headpiece for the day was called Honeysuckle from Rainbow Club which I bought from Girls of Elegance, I had been struggling to find a gold headpiece that was slightly different, but the style of this perfectly matched my dress.”
“My evening headpiece was custom made for me by Beauxoxo on Etsy and was perfect for my evening sparkle look. Georgie was amazing in helping me construct the band I was looking for.
“We chose Hannah Millard of Camera Hannah to be our photographer. I must have looked through 100+ photographer’s websites before choosing Hannah and she was fantastic! From the moment she arrived, she slotted right in and seemed to be everyone and nowhere, capturing all the special moments but not being overt.
The video that she also did for us, was out of this world. We pulled over on the way to the Lake District to watch it and must have watched it at least 10 times before going to bed that night. I cannot recommend Hannah enough and my friends have already said they want her as their photographer when they get married! We also had Paula Broome as our second photographer, whose complimented Hannah perfectly and was lovely to work with.”
“My bracelet was from an American etsy seller, Finds In The Attic, who makes jewellery from antique brooches and I was amazed at how well it matched my dress. Very lucky find!”
“My twin brothers (yes I have two sets of twin brothers & sisters!) were the page boys and their suits were sourced from George at Asda. We originally were going to buy them a two piece suit but they both wanted waistcoats as well!”
“My dad gave me away and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so proud! We walked down the aisle to ‘You and Me’ by Lifehouse. We’d heard it years ago on the first episode of Gavin and Stacey and thought it was perfect.”
“We had two readings and also an address during the ceremony. The readings were Corinthians read by one of our best men, Sean and the other was Always Love Each Other by Larry S. Chengges, read by one of our bridesmaids, Jade.
The address (and the whole ceremony) was made by our padre from the Air Cadets, Michael Child. We have known Mike for years; he and Mat are particularly close. The address, and the comments he made throughout the entire ceremony was perfect, had everyone laughing and made the entire service very personal to us. He compared marriage to the RSPCA advert (a dog is for life, not just for Christmas) as well as getting everyone shouting hallelujah.”
“To go along with the fun theme, we had a bouncy castle, popcorn and candy floss machines from a local company, KBL Event Hire. We also hired a variety of fete games from Fete Game Hire, and had a re-enactment of the ashes test with our Australia relatives as well as a bride vs groom tug of war after dinner. The bride won obviously! It entertained our guests and made for some amazing photos.”
“We have both said that we have two favourite parts of the day. The first was the ceremony because neither of us thought that this part of the day could be so much fun and full of laughter. The second part was watching everyone on the fete stalls and getting on the bouncy castle ourselves. The atmosphere at that part of the day continued through into the rest of the day and really generated the informal relaxed vibe we wanted.”
“Our first dance was ‘Without You’ by David Guetta. We wanted something upbeat and that others could join in with as Mat doesn’t like dancing very much. It definitely got the dancing started!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“My words of wisdom is do whatever it is that makes you and the people you care about happy. My aim was always to ensure that Mat enjoyed the day as much as I did, so he got to play cricket, drink beer rather than pimms, had the bunting he wanted (I wanted paper pom poms!) and relax with his friends and family. So when he said to me the next morning, ‘I didn’t realise that it was going to be that epic’ it made all the planning worthwhile, made the day even more special – and this applied to all our family and friends too.”
What a super, super lovely day – thank you so much Steph and Mat for sharing it with us and huge thanks to your photographer Camera Hannah for sharing her work too. I’m pretty darn certain this wedding will inspire more than a few of our readers.
Is anyone else planning a wedding similar to this one?
Photographer – Camera Hannah
Venue – Wickham Bishops Village Hall in Essex
Brides Dress – Terry Fox via Serenity brides in Colchester
Brides Headpieces – Honeysuckle from Rainbow Club + Beauxoxo on Etsy
Brides Gold Sequin Jacket – Ebay–
Accessories – Finds In The Attic (bracelet) +
Shoes – Dorothy Perkins
Bridesmaids – Monsoon
Flowergirls – Debenhams
Pageboys – George at Asda
Transport – Cool Classic Cars
Flowers – The grooms mum
Cake – friends and family
Rings – Alba Rose in Rayleigh
Ourdoor Games – Fete Game Hire,
Floss Machine Hire – KBL Event Hire
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